I have just taken on a client who has to pass the Shuttle Run Test (minimum Level 9.6) to gain entry to the Fire Fighters Recruitment. The test is in three weeks, and she has come to me for help. I got her to do a run through to see where we're at and she bombed out at 5.6! The last three months, she has been training hard but more long endurance style. I think she needs more power in her legs and glutes to push off from the pivot and perhaps some plyometrics. As far as her conditioning, should I keep putting her through the test until we get closer to the minimum requirement?
What you are suggesting sounds good to me. The mistake many pre-cadets and cadets make is to invest too much time in long, slow distance training. The long endurance stuff is okay for improving oxidation capabilities, but for high power application, it is not as efficient.
To improve the power output for someone is as you suggest: plyometric-type training, shorter, fast runs with direction change (like a shuttle course) and lift moderate weights with some controlled speed. Here is how we like to set up our training programs for the Police & Fire Cadets.
- 2x week - Easy running for 30-40 minutes. This can be a walk/run as well.
- 1x week - Hard Interval Runs for two to three minutes of work, two to three minutes of active rest for 30 minutes.
- 1x week - Fast plyometric-type exercises with agility work.
Try mixing the workouts. Below is one suggestion:
- Day 1 - Hard IT three minutes on, three minutes rest for six reps
- Day 2 - Easy run for 40 minutes, walk if needed
- Day 3 and 6 - Rest or lift
- Day 4 - After warm up, fast plyos for upper and lower body. Total workout time = under one hour.
- Day 5 - Easy run for 30 minutes.
With the short period of time you have, I would concentrate on the IT and plyos. Try not to overtrain your client before the test. It would be better to go in over rested versus over trained. Good luck!